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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he has tested negative for COVID-19, just four days after testing positive.
“I'm told that my infection was brief and mild because of the vaccination that I received,” Abbott said in a video clip posted on his Twitter account on Saturday. “So I encourage others who have not yet received the vaccination to consider getting one.”
When the Republican governor announced Tuesday that he had tested positive for the virus, his office said he was in good health and experiencing no symptoms. Abbott said Saturday that he will continue to quarantine as recommended by doctors.
Abbott, who was vaccinated in December, has refused calls to reinstate mask mandates as the highly contagious delta variant surges in Texas.
He tested positive for the virus a day after appearing indoors near Dallas without a mask while speaking to a crowded room of GOP supporters, most of whom were older and unmasked. Abbott, 63, has seldom been seen wearing a mask in public recently.
He also has rebuffed calls to reimpose pandemic restrictions, including mask mandates, as cases in Texas are again soaring, hospitals are stretched thin, and a growing number of school districts defy his orders that prohibit face-covering requirements in classrooms.
Hospitalizations in Texas of people with COVID-19 have reached levels not seen since January, with over 13,000 people hospitalized as of Saturday.
Abbott said Saturday that his wife, Cecilia Abbott, continues to test negative.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls, a Republican from the Houston area, said Saturday on Twitter that he'd says that he’d tested positive for COVID-19 and had moderate symptoms. Nehls said that he is fully vaccinated and hopes the symptoms pass soon.
“All Americans are free to make their own health decisions, but I strongly encourage getting vaccinated,” he wrote on Twitter Saturday. “It is scientifically proven to drastically reduce the risk of severe illness & death from COVID.”